Proposed EPR gives impetus to environmental industry development 

09:00 | 26/08/2021 Environment

(VEN) - Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), a practice and a policy approach that imposes responsibility for product disposal on producers is expected to provide opportunities to share the financial burden of solid waste management and serve as an impetus to the development of Vietnam’s environmental industry.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment recently released for public comment a draft decree that provides guidance on implementation of the 2020 Law on Environmental Protection. Chapter VII of the Draft Decree provides guidelines on EPR that will apply to six sectors: food and beverage, electrical goods, tires, batteries, lubricants, and electric vehicles.

proposed epr gives impetus to environmental industry development
Recycling facilities without an environmental permit will have to stop operations

According to Nguyen Hoang Phuong, a law and policy consultant from E-Policy - A Boutique Consulting Firm, EPR requires producers to take responsibility for the disposal of products they produce, and therefore contributes to minimizing waste and increasing recycling.

In craft villages, recycling is still causing environmental pollution due to substandard wastewater treatment and gas emissions. Once EPR is applied, recyclable waste will be sent to qualified recycling facilities that will form the basis for professional development of Vietnam’s environmental industry.

Economists say the implementation of regulations on product disposal management remains inefficient and does not provide specific regulations on manufacturers’ mandatory responsibilities and obligations. Automobile and motorbike manufacturers in the country have never officially had any of their products - cars and or motorbikes - returned by consumers after these products expired. Since they do not want to pay, they don’t encourage consumers to return outdated products.

The draft decree providing guidelines for EPR implementation refers to standards and rates of return and treatment and allows businesses to choose the ways of product return and treatment that most benefit them.

EPR helps enterprises improve business and attract investment in recycling and waste treatment, contributing to job creation. EPR also promotes the community’s recognition for those working in the field of recycling and waste treatment. According to Phuong, EPR provides information for and improves consumers’ awareness of waste classification and treatment at home. It helps informal waste collection and recycling teams (scrap iron collectors and craft villages) improve production capacity and protect the environment. It helps those who supply raw materials, design and manufacture packaging, trade in consumer goods, and treat waste increase interactions, contributing to reducing unemployment by creating new jobs.

Thu Huong